GRANDMA’S CAPIROTADA RECIPE – Simple and Classic

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My Grandma’s Capirotada recipe is simple with not a lot of ingredients. The flavor takes me to another place in time when life was good and my mom was in the kitchen making this dish for us on a Sunday evening during Lent.  Above all, the Mexican bread pudding has warm notes from a beautifully rich syrup of cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo (think brown sugar).  

Why do I call this my “Grandma’s Recipe?”

To clarify, there’s a bit of a story behind this recipe. My mom made it this way for my dad as it was his mother’s recipe. She did that quite often because according to her when they first got married my dad would ask her to make certain dishes as his mom made it. Typical mama’s boy.

Apparently, my mom’s mother (Grandma Dolly) didn’t make Capirotada until much later in life when she remarried. I just love how family stories can sometimes circle around food.

YOU CAN MAKE THE MEXICAN DESSERT MANY WAYS

It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned Capirotada can be made a variety of ways depending on the region of Mexico someone is from. 

Over the years, I have enjoyed Capirotada made with milk, evaporated milk, even condensed milk. I’ve had it with bananas, prunes, mangos, and coconut. It’s a beautiful bread pudding that can be tailored to your liking. We even have a Tropical Capirotada recipe on our blog you’ll need to check out if you like mangos and coconuts. 

But, at the end of the day, it is my Grandma Laura’s Capirotada recipe that I long for every Lenten season. And, it gives me great pleasure to be able to make it for my dad since my mom and his mom are now in heaven. 

  

Yield: 8-10 servings

Grandma's Capirotada Recipe

Grandma's Capirotada Recipe

Capirotada is a traditional dessert bread pudding made during Lent.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 Piloncillo cones
  • 3 Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 12 thick slices of bolillo or French bread (see note below)
  • 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium-sized stockpot, add the water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks, and cloves over medium-high heat. Allow the piloncillo to completely dissolve and the syrup thickens (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Slice the bolillos about 1/3 inch thick and assemble on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to toast.
  4. In a deep 9x9 inch baking dish, use some cooking spray on the bottom of the baking dish.
  5. In layers, add the toasted bread, sprinkle raisins, peanuts and cheese. Continue with the next layer until you have a full baking dish adding extra cheese and raisins on top.
  6. Spoon the syrup over the assembled dish until all the bread is moist.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy warm.

Notes

During Lent, many supermarkets now offer precut and toasted French bread made especially for Capirotada. This saves so much time.

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26 Comments

  1. Beautiful story and dish! I will be trying this tomorrow for Easter 🙂

    • Stephen Chavez

      Hi – how did it come out?

      • Thank you for this recipe! This appears to be similar to my grandmother’s recipe. I can’t wait to try it. It’s been so long. Lovely story.

        • we’d love to see a picture if you try this!

          • My mom did exact same but deep fried the bread so the bread wouldn’t get too soggy

          • Stephen Chavez

            Oh wow! I have placed the bread in the oven over night. Deep frying is a new technique.

      • Mmmm…This is similar to my mother’s recipe except we add sliced apples. Do you line your pan with tortillas?

        • Stephen Chavez

          Hi Susie – we do not line our pan with tortillas. Interesting note though! How does it taste with it?

        • I have been looking for a recipe that was similar to my grandmas, and I’m glad I found this one. I just made it and it came out delicious. Thank you!

          • I know the comment’s from last Easter. Never too late! But you don’t eat the tortillas. They’re put at bottom of pan just as a lining to prevent sticking.

      • This looks delicious! My grandmother added bananas and also sprinkled coconut and sprinkles on top

        • sounds delicious!

        • Eufracia@yahoo.com

          Certainly it is the best dessert for me, I’m so fortunate that my mom makes it every year, The kitchen gets full of the wonderful aromas, can’t wait to eat the capirotada this year , your recipe is so much like my mama except she does uses tortillas on the bottom of the cazuela. Thank you for the great memories.

          • Stephen Chavez

            Thank you for sharing. Like you, capirotada brings me so many memories of my mom as well.
            – Stephen

  2. It looks very similar to my abuelita’s recipe, except she used pecans instead of peanuts. It’s something I continue to make every Lenten season.

    • Stephen Chavez

      Oh, that’s great. One of our favorite desserts.

      • Trying this tonight, adding pecans too. I’m tempted to add egg and milk.. 😁

  3. My grandma woul make this for Christmas.
    Mom prepared this for me, I will make the caprirotada.

  4. Thank you for the recipe. My Mami and Tita made it but with no measurements for ingredients. I have tested recipes to get it to my taste. Loved your simple take on it and your suggestion to modify it to create your own recipe.

    • Between the two of us, our styles are very different. I (Art) am a recipe developer but Stephen is a good intuitive cook with a good palate. I have to be more structured for the guided cooking I typically do for others, but, yes, this dish should be cooked from the heart. We hope you decide to share a pic with us of your next capirotada!

  5. Love your recipe. My family’s is very similar with the exception that we use a cheddar cheese.

  6. I add apples and banana. but this came out great!!!!

  7. This is almost like the one my mom used to make, she added some shredded coconut. I lost my mother 2 years ago. I can’t wait to make this.

  8. I made your recipe and it was a hit at our family’s Easter gathering. My mom used to make capirotada and I never took the time to write it down. I regret not taking the time to get her recipe. My family reminded me that she added bananas to hers so I did that to mine in a last minute effort. I also made a dulce de leche that I put on top with some sprinkles.

    Thank you for your inspiration.

    • Stephen Chavez

      Wow! Olivia that all sounds so delicious AND decadent with the dulce de leche on top with sprinkles. LOVE that idea. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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